Loudoun Co. set to inventory Confederate and segregationist roads, buildings

With Confederate statues coming down in Virginia, amid national introspection about systemic racism and considerations of police and legal reform, Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors is set to take inventory of county buildings and roads that honor Confederate and segregationist figures.

The board Tuesday night will consider reviewing and detailing “roads, buildings, signs and other public infrastructure, named after and honoring Confederate or segregationist figures, symbols and slogans in Loudoun County.”

In July, after years of debate, a Confederate statue was removed from the grounds of the Loudoun County courthouse, in downtown Leesburg. The removal came shortly after a new Virginia law took effect, giving localities the right to decide how to handle Confederate war memorials.

The recommendation to compile the information was made by Algonkian District Supervisor Juli Briskman and Vice Chairman and Sterling District Supervisor Koran Saines.

“Similar to the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, societies name buildings or erect statues because the figure they represent is perceived to have done something honorable,” reads the board’s agenda item. “Loudoun should not honor individuals that committed treason against the United States and who helped to maintain white supremacy.”

According to the board’s agenda item, Loudoun County’s Heritage Commission confirmed no entity has been tasked with compiling the offensive symbols throughout the county.

While the naming of roads and buildings may have been done in previous generations: “Triumphantly displaying Confederate symbols in public spaces conveys the message that Loudoun is proud to have been complicit and even supports a governmental system built on the oppression of African Americans.”

In beginning the process of listing the racist symbols, the agenda item suggests some names could eventually be changed.

“Loudoun County can remove inaccurate and racist symbols from its communities. This will not only help with depicting history in an accurate manner, but also create a more inclusive County that does not continually honor and glorify America’s racist past.”

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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